Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Safe Place” as Want to Read:
The Safe Place
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Safe Place

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs's debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise...will you ever be able to leave?

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott
...more
ebook, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 14th 2020 by Minotaur Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Safe Place, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Safe Place

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  42 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Safe Place
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
3.5...interesting, a bit predictable. I think I wanted a bit more...

When Emily finds herself fired from her temp job...she is at a loss for what to do. Her acting career is not taking off, she is not close with her family, in fact she resents them. Then her ex boss- of all people offer her a job that seems too good to be true. Okay Emily that is your first hint...too good to be true, go with your gut...but nope she took the easy route and thought what the hell, I have nothing to lose.

Scott wants
...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now thats how you create and maintain narrative tension and unease! What a masterclass. This thriller will have you glued to your seat and turning pages as quickly as you possibly can. And what elevates it even further is the writing. I was on edge the whole way through and now have no fingernails left. Downes maintains the tension with expert precision and Im wildly impressed. Also, The Money Pit should really get mentioned more often in fiction and life in general. ...more
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
The Safe Place is the perfect read for when you don't want to think too much and want to escape to a beautiful home off the coast of France. AKA the perfect read for someone who wants to travel to Europe, but doesn't want to leave their own safe place! 😂

Emily, the main character is a lost little lamb who stumbles her way into an ideal job as a housekeeper for a wealthy family in remote France. The estate is beautiful and she's in awe of the wife and cute animals everywhere.
So what, if the
...more
Meghan
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not get enough of this book. This was very tough to stop and every time you thought you had the book figured out, a new twist happens that is unexpected. There is Emily Proudman who had it all but suddenly lost everything she had including her job, and her home. Then comes Scott who is a business mogul that has
...more
Irene
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Safe Place by Anna Downes. All is not as it seems from the outside looking in. Emily's dream job soon becomes a nightmare as dark secrets are slowly revealed. A lovely isolated paradise estate is an unpredictable household to unprovoked attacks, unexplained illnesses, and paranoia.

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
Sarah
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was a great thriller! I really had no idea exactly where is the author was going with the story as I read it. The characters were very complex in the way the author introduced suspense to the story was done in pieces and layers slowly began to unravel. I found myself rereading what the premise of this story was about because I was not sure where it was going to go! It captured my attention and it read very quickly. Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
LibraryLaur
I waffled between giving this 3 or 4 stars, but I'm going to cheat and go with 3.5. The plot definitely surprised me in the end, so 4 stars for that, but I felt a bit icky being inside the heads of the characters.

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
R.W.R. Mcdonald
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished The Safe Place by Anna Downes late last night 😲 A complete page turner, excellently written - humour, horror, mystery with fully developed characters and setting. AND TENSE!! Most of the way through the book I had to stop myself yelling, Emily, nooooo! 🙈 (in a good way!) An incredible debut. ...more
Lee Kofman
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book not only for the narrative tension, but also for the language. So many great lines there! Really evocative writing.
Nancy McFarlane
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When things seem to be too good to be true they usually are. Emily had just lost her last shot at an acting career, been fired from her temp job in London, and was estranged from her parents when she was offered, what she thought was the job of a lifetime. Her ex-boss needed someone to go Querencia, his fabulous but very isolated estate on the coast of France, to be a companion and au pair for his wife Nina and their 7 yo daughter Aurelia, who was supposed to have severe medical problems. Emily ...more
Janet
When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Superbly tense and oozing
...more
Lizy
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark, arcs, read-in-2020
Note: I received this ARC both from an ABA Whitebox and from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Special thanks to the ABA, Netgalley, and St. Martin's Press.

Quick Review: The Safe Place is THE must-read psychological thriller this summer. Clean, crisp writing couples with sinister family secrets and the beautiful French countryside to create the most juicy and devourable story.

Longer Review: It's weird to say this super dark, mysterious, gothic af novel was what I needed in times of
...more
Miss R
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

'The Safe Place' is a stunningly accomplished debut from Anna Downes. Indeed, despite the depth of talent in the crowded marketplace of crime fiction, Downes has the imagination and talent to emerge as one of the leading lights of this genre. Indeed, this is a psychological thriller that lives up to its billing. Taut, compelling and suspenseful, you won't want to put this book this down. It begins with the
...more
Anna
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ms. Downes has written a wonderful, engaging book with characters that you love, hate, and just plain wonder about. The writing style makes you feel that you are physically standing there with the characters and are privy to their inner secrets.

There is a small, core group of characters which makes the story all the more intimate. Scott Denny is the founder of a
...more
Laura Hanna-White
I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for review

This book was a fairly quick read, it took me a little over a day to get through it and the story moves at a fairly good pace.
It's predominantly set in one location, which can be a hard task for an author to make interesting, but Downes moves the story along well and makes great use of her setting.

Often, thrillers can be very formulaic, and while this one wasn't particularly shocking/unusual, it was creative and a fun read.

My one
...more
Alison Alice-May
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great debut read. Thank you to NetGalley for the arc.

Emily is fired from her job and her future is looking bleak. Then she is offered a wonderful opportunity from her boss, Scott, who has just fired her. She is offered a housekeeping job at his house in France where she is also to help his wife look after their seven year old daughter, Aurelia.

This appears to be a dream job. Set in the very remote French countryside, Emily is to reside in their beautiful home, compete with infinity
...more
Alison Alice-May
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great debut read. Thank you to NetGalley for the arc.

Emily is fired from her job and her future is looking bleak. Then she is offered a wonderful opportunity from her boss, Scott, who has just fired her. She is offered a housekeeping job at his house in France where she is also to help his wife look after their seven year old daughter, Aurelia.

This appears to be a dream job. Set in the very remote French countryside, Emily is to reside in their beautiful home, compete with infinity
...more
Emilie
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book.
This was a quick, fun, enjoyable read. I would call it an almost gothic thriller, yet instead of rainy, gloomy windswept moors that are the stereotypical locale of many gothic stories, this one takes place in a lush, sun-filled ocean paradise. But the question becomes, is it really a paradise, and what are its inhabitants hiding. When Emily's boss offers her a dream-come-true new job in France on his private estate, she grabs on to it like a lifeline, leaving her
...more
Ciri (The Constant Reader)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margarita (margaritathedrink)
I am stuck in between a 3 or 4 stars so I will give this review 3.5 stars.

I am a sucker for thriller books/films especially ones where a caretaker goes to stay at someones house and creepy stuff starts happening. Like the Skeleton Key, The Boy and so on.

This storys main character is Emily who is given a chance to leave her life in London to move to france and live on a estate to care for her boss Wife and daughter. in the beginning everything sounds glam but things start happening to give her
...more
O Prism
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great debut novel! Emily is a young woman unsure of what her life goals are, and after being fired from her temp job, her boss comes back with another offer for her to help his wife and daughter at an seaside estate in France. What starts as the ultimate dream job and too good to be true paradise slowly becomes a nightmare. Close knit family, an unstable and mysterious wife and child, leads Emily into all kinds of terrifying situations. This was a well thought out plot, and I read it way past my ...more
Jenn
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Emily is a mess. She's a failed actress, working as a temp in London. But she keeps messing up at her job, leaving for auditions and just being generally bad at the temping position. So, when she's let go one day, she isn't surprised. But when she comes home, she finds she's being evicted from her apartment. Then the next day, her agent tells her she's dropping her. Then out of the blue, she's offered the position as a nanny/housekeeper/personal assistant on the French estate of the boss at her ...more
Geaux
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing introduction of this thriller. Spoken in the voices of two protagonists, Emily and Scott.
Emily is a character very relatable. She wants to act and is beautiful. She is a perfectionist, yet she doesnt seem to do anything right. She is stuck in a shame cycle. She lost her temp job and has an over drafted account.
Scott is in investment banking. He is a bit mysterious and isnt startled by the sight of blood. He has been keeping a close eye on Emily, making her do mundane jobs and seems
...more
Katharine Reppert
After reading the intro, of no phones, no outsiders, no escape it reminded me of a previous book that I read. Everyone was cut off from the outside on their own choice sounds similar to what is in this story. Things may seem better but can you always judge a book by it's cover? Is the paradise really a paradise or just the facade of something more lingering underneath. Can this place by Emily's saving grace or will it only cause more problems that she already has now not having a job?

Do we take
...more
Megan Toohey
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has many different ways to go but from everything I gather I need to complete this sooner or later because the suspense is killing me. I am excited to see which way this goes as I was on the edge on my seat page after page. I feel this is a story not for the faint of heart and gives me very The Swimsuit vibes in the Patterson Era but with a new vest. I am have been searching for something like this to keep me totally enthralled for months and her she is boys and girls. This is a must ...more
Laura Perks
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Safe Place by Anna Downes
Thanks @netgalley @anna_downes_writer and @hodderbooks for my arc
Publication date 20th August 2020

#netgalley #thesafeplace

Brilliant debut, psychological chick lit, an easy but compelling read and beautifully written - setting the scenes and characters perfectly.

Just as I would get frustrated wondering where the story was headed, I would be drip-fed some further information to keep me engaged and intrigued.

A lovely underlying message of the inability to ever fully
...more
Aimee Lamberson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 But obviously I can't do .5's on here so it deserves the 5!
Emily is an aspiring actress who temps just to pay what she needs (or at least to attempt to) with no luck.
However her knight in shining armer comes and peels her off of that concrete after being knocked down again and turns her whole life around by offering her the job of a lifetime. What could go wrong?!
This was SUCH a good book! It was one of those that I literally had no clue what was going to happen and what any characters
...more
Rebecca Minnock
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily is going nowhere, fast. Her acting career is floundering at best, and her temp job is making her miserable.

The next thing she knows, her former employer, Scott, is offering her a dream job. Live in housekeeper/au pair in a beautiful, but secluded house in France. 

I was desperate to figure out what wasn't right with the family Emily was with in France, and I was on tenterhooks as the reveal approached and we found out the truth.

Told from Emily and Scott's perspective, with flashbacks from
...more
Beck
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you were offered the opportunity to move to France for a job, would you go? Or does it seem too good to be true? After all, most things are. . .

After Emily relocates to France, she begins to realize that things aren't quite as they appear. Working in residence as a caretaker, she begins to notice things seem off. Not quite right. What is going on? Why is this house that Emily is in so isolated from everything?

I really liked this book however it took a little while to get going. There wasn't
...more
Stephanie
Mar 26, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So this is definitely one of my favorite types of books where you have multiple characters telling the story. This makes it interesting because you are seeing both sides of the story as it happens. This style of storytelling also compels you to want to turn the page to the next chapter.

Poor Emily's day went from good to worse but little does she know that some of it is totally out of her control. I will be curious to find out why Scott has "chosen" Emily and what he has in store for her. Does it
...more
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookish First Rea...: The Safe Place by Anna Downes 6 12 2 hours, 0 min ago  

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Lies Between Us
  • The Girl from Widow Hills
  • The House Guest
  • Little Secrets
  • The Boy from the Woods
  • He Started It
  • The Guest List
  • The Last Flight
  • The Night Swim
  • The Girls Weekend
  • In The Clearing
  • Don't Look for Me
  • Take It Back
  • They Did Bad Things: A Thriller
  • Playing Nice
  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
  • When I Was You
  • Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2)
See similar books…
13 followers
ANNA DOWNES was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. She worked as an actress before turning her attention to writing. She was shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition (2018). The Safe Place was inspired by Annas experiences working as ...more

Related Articles

  Dean Koontz has been a long-time master of the suspense, with his bestselling Odd Thomas and Jane Hawk series as well as his many standalone h...
31 likes · 16 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »